BASF PETRONAS Chemicals 2-Ethylhexanoic Acid Production Plant, Kuantan, Malaysia


BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, a joint venture (JV) of BASF and PETRONAS, is constructing a new world-scale production plant for 2-ethylhexanoic acid (2-EHacid) in Kuantan, Malaysia. Located in one of BASF's two Verbund sites in Asia Pacific, it will be the first world-scale 2-ethylhexanoic acid production plant of its kind in the ASEAN region.

BASF PETRONAS Chemicals started the construction of an integrated aroma ingredients complex at Gebeng Industrial Park near Kuantan in 2014.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the plant was held on 4 June 2015, and production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2016. When operational, the plant will become one of the leading suppliers of high-purity 2-ethylhexanoic acid in the region.

The investment is also expected to strengthen the company's offering in various downstream markets across a broad variety of applications.

Details of the 2-ethylhexanoic acid production plant

The new 2-EHacid production plant will be constructed at an integrated site owned by the BASF-PETRONAS Chemicals in Kuantan. The JV decided to build the facility in order to meet the growing demand for the product in Asia Pacific.

The plant will have a production capacity of 30,000t a year and will be the first backward-integrated plant in the ASEAN region. It will create synergies, by enabling more sustainable use of raw materials, energy and technology. It will also deliver high-reliability and optimal use of raw materials and energy.

Applications of 2-ethylhexanoic acid

2-ethylhexanoic acid is a chemical intermediate used for a variety of applications such as the production of synthetic lubricants as well oil additives. It is also used to produce a variety of functional fluids such as plasticisers, automotive coolants, stabilisers, metal salts, catalysts and other applications.

Other investments by BASF and PETRONAS Chemicals

In addition to the 2-ethylhexanoic acid plant, BASF and PETRONAS will construct a world-scale polyisobutene plant with an annual capacity of 50,000t, which will be first plant of its kind in South East Asia. The facility is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The JV is also constructing an integrated aroma ingredients complex at Kuantan, Malaysia. Scheduled to come on stream in 2016, the complex will manufacture citronellol, L-menthol and citral.

BASF also owns and operates a 2-EHAacid production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Marketing commentary

Headquartered in Germany, Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik (BASF) is a leading chemical company that manufactures chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products. The company recorded a turnover of €74.3bn and employed more than 113,000 people in 2014.

"When operational, the plant will become one of the leading suppliers of high-purity 2-ethylhexanoic acid in the region."

PETRONAS Chemicals Group (PCG) is an integrated chemicals producer based in Malaysia. The group produces polymers, methanol, fertilisers, olefins and other basic chemicals and derivative products. It is one of the biggest companies in South East Asia.

BASF and PCG formed a joint venture BASF PETRONAS Chemicals in 1997. The JV operates one of the leading integrated chemicals sites located at the Gebeng Industrial Zone, Malaysia. BASF SE owns 60% stake in BASF PETRONAS Chemicals, while the rest 40% is owned by PCG.

The JV produces diversified products, including plastics, lacquers, water treatment, dyestuff, automobile and industrial coatings. It also manufactures leather, adhesives, paper, diapers and textile products.